Paths, Pilgrimages and Perspectives: A Study of Personal Narrative

What defines a journey? Movement? Travel? If we stay in the same physical place, do we not, nevertheless, still experience an internal journey? In all our commonalities, we come from different places and yet have all arrived here at St. Lawrence. You all took a journey to get here, and you are all about to embark on the journey known as “college.” You will learn things about this place and, more importantly, yourself. The goal is to write the journey as you have experienced it and to immerse yourself in the journeys of others. We will analyze and evaluate the self and its perpetual journey through life. Students will gain a more thorough understanding of the creative writing process, as well as critical approaches to reading and writing through workshops, peer evaluations, group projects, discussion, and self-reflection.

With the semester-long project of journaling, we will explore the meaning of personal narratives and develop our own. Special focus will be placed on the works of Jack Kerouac. We will also explore the spiritual journey through the eyes of other authors and artists by examining works in a variety of media, including film, music, web blogs, poetry, essays, and letters. The journal-writing component of the course will culminate in your strongest entries being transformed into a book as part of your final project. Since the nature of the journey itself is the backbone of the course, we will take at least one little journey of our own somewhere in the North Country.